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October 17, 2011


Anne Lever

A very interesting article, "Simon". Thanks for presenting a refreshingly unbiased view of Urban Renewal.

I represent a newly formed non-profit organization, Lignum Vitae Centre of Hope (LVCH) and our vision is a society where all citizens have access to opportunities which promote self-sufficiency.

Therefore I was particularly interested in the reference to the Over-the-Hill resident who alluded to the fact that urban renewal will not become real by people merely coming into his community and doing things for the people.

Indeed, this paternalistic approach is often more harmful than helpful. The resident goes on to say that genuine change will only occur when the people of his community are truly engaged in rebuilding their lives and community. What a forward thinker! He is endorsing the concept that a "hand UP" is far more effeective than a "hand OUT". A phlosophy upon which LVCH is built.

I would also like to highlight Lignum Vitae's recent implementation of the Bahamas 4-H youth development programme in the 9 Urban Renewal Centres in New providence. The 4-H programme has been practised throughout the US for over 100 years and its goal is to prepare young people to become responsible, capable and INVOLVED citizens and leaders. The respective leaders of the Urban Renewal centres were trained by Florida 4-H members who held workshops at the LVCH centre. These UR leaders are now working with approximately 15 children each, providing them with educational experiences that develop life skills, promote making healthy choices, encourage positive relationships with others and so on.

Perhaps the Afro Reggae programme can be introduced to reinforce these experiences. It seems that the two programmes share the same ideals.........4-H stands for Heart, Head, Hands and Health.

We applaud the efforts and mission of Rev Moss and trust that together we can indeed transform the youth of today, who are after all tomorrow's future.

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